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Digital identity provider Yoti, Wildlife Trust of India and Bright Tide come together to launch ‘Tigerthon’

Global tiger hackathon to develop the world’s first intelligence database management system to tackle the global illegal tiger trade

London, UK – 29th July 2021 – Digital identity provider Yoti, the Wildlife Trust of India and conservation CSR provider Bright Tide have today announced a new partnership that sees the launch of ‘Tigerthon’, a two-day global hackathon taking place in October. Open to students and early-stage professionals worldwide (the event opens to applicants in August), participants will work together across different challenge areas (such as A.I, data mining and data analysis) to develop the prototype for a centralised Tiger Crime Information Management System. The winning innovations from Tigerthon will be developed by the Wildlife Trust of India into a fully functioning product to be used in the field to share data/intelligence relating to illegal tiger crime.

Despite tigers being present in 14 range countries, the threat to their populations still looms large. Although habitat loss is a prominent cause, persistent tiger poaching has aggravated the rate of population decline. Tigers are illegally poached for their body parts; their skin, claws, and teeth are still used ornamentally, while their bones are used in tonics and traditional medicines. Poaching for these ‘valuable’ uses is the greatest threat to tigers across their range. As a result, less than 4,000 tigers remain in the wild today.

To tackle this global challenge, information about incidents and people of interest needs to be shared between countries so that further linkages can be traced and organised networks involved in the trafficking of tigers and their body parts across international borders can be disrupted.

As such, it is vital that tiger range countries and international law enforcement agencies have access to real time information sharing and information analysis to develop vital intelligence on illicit criminal syndicates behind the illegal tiger trade. This can be possible only when the tiger range countries begin using a centralised system to manage information regarding tigers, and analyse them in a regional and global context.

Ken Banks, Head of Social Purpose at Yoti said: “Too many of the world’s critical species are living on the edge. Climate change, human encroachment, deforestation, poaching and a multitude of other local threats continue to take a terrible toll on their numbers, and tigers are no exception. Here at Yoti, social purpose has long been at the heart of everything we do, and we’re excited to be supporting this hackathon. We’re committed to the use of digital identities as a force for good, and believe that if online communities are to thrive then trust is essential. We’re excited to explore the potential for digital identities to support the creation of a trusted reporting network against tiger poaching, and are honoured to be working with Wildlife Trust of India and Bright Tide in this much-needed and valuable initiative.”

Harry Wright, CEO of Bright Tide says: “I am delighted to be working with Yoti and the Wildlife Trust of India to develop Tigerthon, the first-ever international virtual hackathon dedicated to fighting the illegal tiger trade in tiger range countries. As well as having a real-world impact on the global fight to save the tiger, Tigerthon will provide valuable professional experience and networking opportunities for our global participants. Time is rapidly running out for many of our planet’s most amazing creatures, and by bringing together new ideas and innovations through initiatives such as Tigerthon, I am hopeful that we can turn the tide on the callous destruction to our natural world.”

Jose Louies, Deputy Director & Chief, Wildlife Crime Control Division at the Wildlife Trust of India says: “Tigers are one of the most powerful conservation icons across the world. They are a testament to the sustained conservation efforts of governments, conservationists and communities who protect them in their natural habitats. With Tigerthon, we hope to build a global system which can share information across international borders about illegal wildlife trade involving tigers. An effective information exchange will help us fight the Illegal wildlife trade challenges better, as a global community committed to ensure the majestic stripes thrive in wilderness.”

About Yoti

Yoti is a digital identity and biometric technology company that allows organisations to verify identities and trusted credentials online and in person. Yoti’s products span identity verification, age verification, document eSigning, access management, and authentication. Over 9 million people have downloaded the free Yoti app globally, which is available in English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese and Polish.

For more information, please visit https://www.yoti.com

About Wildlife Trust of India

Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) is a leading Indian nature conservation organisation committed to the service of nature. Its mission is to conserve wildlife and its habitat and to work for the welfare of individual wild animals, in partnership with communities and governments. WTI’s team of 150 dedicated professionals work towards achieving its vision of a secure natural heritage of India, in six priority landscapes, knit holistically together by nine key strategies or Big Ideas.

For more information, please visithttps://www.wti.org.in/

About Bright Tide

Bright Tide works with businesses to address urgent climate and biodiversity challenges around the world. They work with private sector clients to educate employees (and their clients) about nature-based solutions to climate change and host collaborative events where employees can work together to develop new solutions to global conservation issues. Through their thriving nature-based solution venture membership, they work with leading organisations to help them meet vital net zero and biodiversity targets. Only by working together can we #turnthetide on biodiversity loss and avert a climate catastrophe.

For more information, please visit https://www.bright-tide.co.uk/

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